The Church told us to leave...

Last Sunday, the tribe at “The Center” agreed to leave the safety of our Sunday morning routine to go into the community. The idea was simple. We created a scavenger hunt around items of need for the food pantry. We went into the neighborhood, knocked on our neighbors doors and asked for their help. Each team would receive points for their efforts and bonus points for asking two basic questions. After the initial briefing, the teams had several questions and you could feel the trepidation. This was really out of our comfort zone. In the end, around thirty souls from our tribe left safety for adventure.

The scene reminded me of Jesus sending his disciples in the surrounding communities. He knew what He was asking was unconventional and maybe even radical. However, He knew they would receive far more than they would ever give. I have been blessed to do mission in Africa and Haiti. I’ve worship with the Masai in Tanzania and tried to sing so loud the Voodoo drumbeat would fade. I have also gone door to door in rural neighborhoods as well as in the suburbs. The initial fear is the same but so is the elation afterward.

The account in Luke 10 details a similar pattern. Jesus sends out seventy-two souls in teams of two. He gives them basic instructions on what to take and how to act. We don’t know all they did but we do know they were changed.  The scriptures say, “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Their excitement could not be contained so he reminded them of the power within and warned them to remain humble, recognize where their power comes from and keep focus on where they are headed.

As our tribe went out into the community, our reservations were quickly overcome. Through faith, obedience and prayer our fears were overcome. Excitement replaced trepidation. Relationships were formed in love. Peace was extended into the neighborhood. Hope returned as those with less were provided for. Hearts exploded in joy as people began a relationship with our neighbors and everyone was were alerted to the rule and reign of God.